Posts categorized “Featured Posts”

Monday, 15 October 2018

Open Mike Eagle: Professional Wrestler

OME meets OVW

OME meets OVW…

So not only is Open Mike Eagle a successful rapper, podcaster, gingerbread man, and soon-to-be host of a Comedy Central show, but now he has another bullet point to add to his resume:

Professional Wrestler.

You see, last week was the culmination of a very bizarre and hilarious wrestling feud, one that was full of excellent (and not-so-excellent) battle rap, some ringside hijinx, and some aid from some legendary wrestlers. Let’s take a look at how all this happened, shall we? Let’s:

THE BEEF:

Open Mike Eagle has long been an huge fan of professional wrestling. He even co-hosts a podcast called “Tights and Fights” dedicated to it.

So in the Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion (currently owned/run by legendary wrestling superstar Al Snow) there is a wrestler named Shiloh Jonze. Jonze decided that not only is he the king of wrestlers, but he is also the king of battle rap. As such, he issued an open challenge for anyone to come to an OVW show and battle rap him live. He tagged a bunch of famous rappers in his tweet, including Mike:

Mike’s response was rather succinct:

Jonze’s response was rather underwhelming:

Things escalated quickly…

Yes, Mike actually went to a live OVW show and rather humiliated Jonze. “John Cena cosplay,” tee-hee-hee.

Jonze was having none of that, but again didn’t seem to know quite how to… have any rap talent at all:

Apparently Jonze also showed up at the Adult Swim live show that Mike was performing at, and tried to call him out there. I haven’t been able to find any footage of that, though. There is this… thing that happened, though:

The challenge was issued. Mike made a poll to see what his fans thought. The results were rather overwhelming:

So Mike reached out to Al Snow to see what could be done about this. Jonze seemed enthusiastic about the whole thing:

Much to Mike’s surprise, Al Snow seemed to have had enough of Jonze’s horrible raps, and soon…

PRE-FIGHT:

Mike was cleared to wrestle!

THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!

Mike flew out to Louisville, just hours before OVW’s big 1,000th show was about to happen.

And then it actually happened:

https://twitter.com/GY312/status/1050191062260703232

THE FIGHT:

View this post on Instagram

man I cant get over this shit.

A post shared by open mike eagle. (@artrapmike) on

There’s very little footage online of the actual fight, which isn’t surprising because it was behind a $10 paywall. But here’s what tidbits I could find:

Yes, it’s true, Mike actually WON his professional wrestling debut. But he didn’t do it alone. Take a look at this photo and see if you can make out who is raising Mike’s hand in victory:

CACTUS JACK!

Photo by twitter user seramarlowe

YES THAT IS NONE OTHER THAN THE LEGENDARY MICK FOLEY!!! Cactus Jack, Mankind, Dude Love himself, Mick Foley actually came down to the ring (along with Ken Anderson, who wrestled as “Mr. Kennedy” in the WWE) and helped Mike win the match.

POST-FIGHT:

I’ll let these speak for themselves:

See? DREAMS DO COME TRUE. But emphatically only one time:

Also, Mike is coming out with a new album soon, to be called What Happens When I Try to Relax. Will it have more tracks that use professional wrestling terminology as an extended metaphor? Let’s find out… together!

P.S.

Due to the highly transitory nature of social media, I realize that embedding tweets and instagrams into a blog article probably won’t last very long as people delete accounts/posts/whatnot pretty frequently. So I went ahead and took a gigantic screenshot of this entire article so future generations can look at it as it once was. Click on it for full-size funtimes:

Daaang

Daaang

Categories: Featured Posts, My Famous Friends, Rasslin.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Soft Reset

WOT TH’!? WUT THE WUT!?
Yes, it’s me, posting for the first time since early June. I took the entire summer off from this website. And in that time, some things have changed in my life:

  1. My wife started working from home
    Today, actually! We used to work close enough together that we would carpool to work and back (I’d drop her off and then continue on another ten minutes alone). Now? Not so much. So instead of carpooling…
  2. I’ve started taking mass transit
    I now take the train to work! This has two new consequences:

    1. The train station is two miles from my work
      So (starting today) I will be walking four miles every day, automatically. ♫ Get in shape, girl… ♫
    2. FREE TIME UPGRADE!
      I now have about 40 minutes twice a day all to myself (sans close-proximity strangers) on the train during which I can get work done!

What work am I gonna get done with all that free time, you ask (who am I kidding, nobody is reading this)?

Well, for one thing I can actually update this here website right here quite a bit more. Probably not as much as the infamous March of 2017, during which I posted an update every single danged weekday. But more frequently than once a month. Let’s set the bar at 2 to 3 posts a week.

For another thing, I can plug some headphones into my laptop and start a-writin’ some musics! That’s right, I have an as-of-yet-secret music project that I’m working on this fall. I’m very excited about it! It will be full of sick 8-bit beats!

For yet another thing, if there are any other creative projects I can do with a laptop, I can work on ’em! Like maybe write something (other than websitey stuffs)? Or maybe art something? Who is to be knowing? Not me!

Finally, I can take my Nintendo Switch with me and play some vid-goms. And then review them for this here website!

Ch-Ch-Changes

Coinciding with all of these life changed, you might have noticed (who am I kidding) that I’ve ever-so-slightly changed the header and right-hand sidebar (or if you’re looking at this on a mobile, the bottom-most section):

  1. I’ve decided to discontinue my “Of the Month” features.
    It was just too stressful to have to figure out three things to feature every month. Doesn’t seem like it would be stressful, right? But I just wasn’t enjoying living under the gun of the beginning of the month decision-making process. So instead…
  2. REVIEWS!
    This whole website is going to be pivoting a little bit to be more review-based than in the past. Whenever I see/hear/read something that I like, I’ll write a review of it. The latest reviews will always be featured in the sidebar “Reviews” section. I have decided on six categories that correspond to my personal interest: Music, Movies, TV, Video Games, Tabletop Games, and Books. Right now there’s a bunch of really old stuff in there, just because I haven’t actually reviewed anything in a looooong time. But those’ll get replaced as I review more things! First Up: a new album review, coming this week! HONEST! Oh, and I also created a new blanket “Reviews” category, and changed my site’s top navigation to have a link to that, so you can just go to one place to read all of my reviews of everything. Neat!
  3. Featured Posts
    If I write any post that is of significant interest or length (like this one is turning out to be), I’ll add it to the “Featured Posts” category. And it’ll show up on the sidebar as well! Neat!

That’s about it.

TL;DR

I’M BACK, BABY!

Categories: Featured Posts, Life, Updates.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

“Of the Year” 2017

Album of the Year:

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle

There were so very many great albums released this year, and I must apologize to all my other friends who came out with some really amazing work in 2017. But this album just eclipses them all.

A few years ago Mike released Dark Comedy, an hilarious album tinged with anger and darkness. Well, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is kind of the opposite; it’s a dark and angry album tinged with hilarity. And it is SO SO GOOD. A concept album about the now-destroyed Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago where Mike (and earlier, Mr. T) spent some of his youth, BBKSD is a stark exploration of some very big injustices. It’s also at times extraordinarily beautiful. Just listen to “Daydreaming in the Projects” here:

Also listen to the sun-drenched, wistful nostalgia that gushes out of the just lovely “95 Radios” here:

I don’t want to make this album sound like a complete drag; Mike is still as geeky as ever, and there is some genuine hilarity like in “No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending it Don’t Hurt),” in which very funny braggadocio serves to illustrate both the toxic environment that induces men to act tough and unfeeling as well as the toxicity of such behavior itself.

Man, this album is smart. The best album of 2017 by leaps and bounds. Also, very funny:

Movie of the Year:

Wonder Woman

I saw shockingly few movies in 2017, far fewer than I actually wanted to see, and almost all of those were somehow under the Disney banner. All except for Wonder Woman. We’ve been getting big-budget Superman movies since the 1970s. Batman movies since the 1980s. X-Men and Spider-Man movies since the early 2000s. But it took until 2017 for Wonder Woman to finally get her own movie. And, oh my, is it goooooooood. I don’t know if I can honestly say it was worth the wait, but thank goodness this production fell into the hands of people who did right by it. Gal Gadot is endlessly entertaining as the main character, and even though the third-act climax kinda devolves into a big CGI power-vs-power mess, Wonder Woman at its heart is a story about being a decent, loving human being (or goddess, as the case may be) in an indecent, hateful world.

TV Show of the Year:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wins by being one of only two TV shows that I actually watch anymore (even though I stream it later on Hulu), and the only one that actually airs on a regular schedule and has, y’know, actual seasons. In the shadows of the Marvel movies, this TV show has been churning out some of the most entertaining and comic-booky live-action adventures out there. The show went really gung-ho in its 4th season, with a trio of interconnected story arcs that delved into Ghost Rider and the Darkhold, Life Model Decoy androids, and a stint in a Matrix-style alternate computer reality. And now in the 5th season the cast has been flung into space… and the future! It’s great seeing these characters whom we’ve come to know and love get thrown into all manner of insanity and still keep their wits about them (upon learning that they’d been transported to outer space one character simply grunts, “Space, huh? Makes sense; we’ve done everything else”).

Streaming Show of the Year:

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things 2 is to Stranger Things as Aliens is to Alien. Sometimes in some very direct ways. It takes the original concept and expands upon it mightily without losing the fan-frikkin-tastic characterizations that you came to love in the first season. Plus, Paul Reiser is in it as a very sketchy and somewhat smarmy individual! A loving tribute to both Steven King and Stephen Spielberg, with plenty of callbacks and references to them both. Also Aliens.

Video Game of the Year:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I mean, come on. This is the game of the year. It’s so good. Just take a look at this:

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Categories: Featured Posts, Of the Month, Round-up.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Movie Review: Moana (2016)

"…you know who you are."

“…you know who you are.”

Moana (2016) ★★★½

I could go on about how awesome it is to have a mainstream Disney fantasy film that isn’t about a European-style fantasy setting. But I’m sure there are people better qualified to write about that subject, and I’m sure they’ve written about it extensively, so you can go read those articles if you want. More important to me than the “importance” of a film is whether or not it’s a good film or not.

Thankfully, Moana is an excellent movie. And, Gods, what a beautiful film. Just frikkin’ gorgeous. Every frame is filled with visual wonder. I’m hard pressed to think of a film other than The Fall that is just this beautiful. The settings are surprisingly varied and all magnificent, the character design is incredibly appealing (and the skin on these characters is some of the best CGI that I’ve ever seen), and the animation expressive and just a joy to watch. There were many, many shots in the film that made me gasp.

This is definitely a Disney Princess®™© movie; it follows much of the structure and many of the beats of a lot of 80s & 90s Disney movies. But here is a Disney Princess®™© story in which BOTH of the princess’s parents are alive and there is absolutely NO romantic plotline in the film at all. So right off the bat we’re head-and-shoulders above the standard fare.

At times it does stick pretty close to the standard Disney narrative. For example, the second song in the movie is an “I Want” song to go with such classics as “Part of Your World,” “Belle,” “One Step,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Just Around the Riverbend,” “Almost There,” “Waiting for My Life to Begin,” “For the First Time in Forever,” etc. But by the Gods, “How Far I’ll Go” is one of the best versions of those songs in decades. And it’s up on the YouTubes! Just watch this and tell me it’s not actually moving (and not catchy as all heck).

There are also some unusual and interesting things going on in this song, like the fact that Moana is so conflicted about her desires. Usually the hero/heroine of Disney movies is pretty clear in what their goal is, but Moana is really torn. It’s just heart-wrenching the way she sing, slightly off-key, “What is wrong with me!?”

I should talk here about the voice acting. The finding of 14-year-old Auli’i Cravalho is one of the greatest coups that Disney has ever had in voice acting. She’s absolutely, 100% brilliant as Moana. And by the Gods her voice when she sings… I cannot put in words how it moves me. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was also an inspired choice to play the buffoonish blowhard demigod Maui. Though he isn’t nearly as good a singer as Auli’i, the filmmakers got an astonishing range out of his vocal performance and he holds his own singing his song.

Speaking of Maui’s song… it is also very familiar to the structure of Disney movies: the introduction of a magical character who sings a song with very surreal visuals. In fact, it seems Maui and the Genie from Aladdin appear in their respective movies at almost the exact same minute mark.

The only things preventing Moana from garnering a full four stars from me are the facts that it doesn’t quite go far enough in breaking the mold of the Disney movie structure, even though it is one of the best versions of that structure. Also, there are a bit too many sidekicks. Moana has a pig (which thankfully stays on the island for most of the movie) and a chicken; Maui has an animated tattoo; and the ocean itself makes a mute-but-expressive tendril that acts as a sidekick. Thankfully all the sidekicks are mute, but they don’t really add anything to the story (other than the ocean making it impossible for Maui to ditch Moana). Also, the chicken (voiced, astonishingly, by Alan Tudyk) is legitimately hilarous, so there’s that. Seriously, so cluckin’ funny. And THANK THE GODS THE PIG DID NOT MAKE IT ON THE BOAT. I can think of few things that would have been worse than a film with two main characters and FOUR sidekicks…

Also-also there is a “Han Solo moment” that was so disgustingly, obviously telegraphed that I groaned the moment I realized it was being set up. Just, come on! It was SO FRIKKIN’ OBVIOUS.

But other than those minor quibbles this film is a legitimate masterpiece. I found it personally much more emotionally moving than Frozen. All the songs in it are just magnificent. It has some wonderful surprises in it. It is seriously fascinating to watch a Disney movie that has no real villain in it. And <spoiler>I just love love love a film that is obviously building to a big action climax, but then realizes that action is a false victory and the real victory is achieved WITH A SONG.</spoiler>

I plan on owning this movie and watching it many, many times. I think Te Ka is too scary for my sensitive three-year-old daughter right now, but I am chomping at the bit to introduce her to a strong, weak, feisty, scared, stubborn, empathic heroine in Moana. Faafetai mo se tifaga matagofie.

Categories: Featured Posts, Movie Reviews, Reviews.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmastime Adventure in Downtown Seattle 2016

Animated Avery!

Animated Avery!

Last Sunday we three in the fam went on a fun excursion to Downtown Seattle for the afternoon. Here’s what we did:

  • Parked beneath Pacific Place. Parking there is only $6 on Sundays!
  • Walked out through Barnes & Nobles and down 5th Ave (with quick stops in Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters) to our first stop:

The Fairmont Hotel

At the Fairmont Hotel lobby.

At the Fairmont Hotel lobby.

The Fairmont does this thing where they completely deck out a suite with Christmas stuff and metric tonnes of teddy bears. They call it the Teddy Bear Suite. Behold the cuteness:

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

After the Fairmont we:

  • Walked up 6th Ave towards Westlake Park, where they have:

The Downtown Carousel

At the downtown carousel.

At the downtown carousel.

After the carousel we:

  • Headed upstairs at Westlake Center and got on the:

Monorail

On the Monorail.

On the Monorail.

The Monorail took us to:

Seattle Center

Where we got lunch in the Armory and Avery watched the model train go ’round and ’round its miniature village.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

The Spaced Needle.

The Spaced Needle.

After Seattle Center we:

  • Took the Monorail back to Westlake
  • Walked back up Pine St to:

Pacific Place

Where they had these letters that were conveniently setup in such a way that Avery would look completely adorable on them:

At Pacific Place.

At Pacific Place.

FUN DAY!

Here’s all where we went: Thanks, Gorgle Morps!

Categories: Animated .GIFs, Christmas, Featured Posts, Life, Pictures.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

My Famous Friends: The Ginger Fool is a Grimm-Hunting Wettbewerbsgewinner!

Yes, I'm ready! Jamie Pederson the Ginger Fool in NBC's Grimm.

Yes, I’m ready!

YES! Fools Play Improv’s very own Ginger Fool, Jamie Pederson, has appeared in the recurring role of “Ludwig the Wettbewerbsgewinner” on NBC’s long-running supernatural police show, Grimm.

For those not in the know: Grimm (briefly) is about a Portland police officer who is a “Grimm,” a person with the ability to see monstrous people (“Wesen”) who are hiding amongst humanity, disguised as humans. The Grimm’s traditional role is to hunt these Wesen, so they don’t like him very much.

Jamie appeared briefly in episode 99 of Grimm as a thug in the service of some badguy Wesen priest who wants to stop the Grimm from finding an ancient treasure. Is Ludwig (and his associate Dolph) ready for such a task?

Jamie Pederson is ready for action on NBC's Grimm.

I guess so!

Oh, why are Jamie’s lines subtitled? Because these scenes take place in Germany and Jamie is speaking in German. No biggie.

Unfortunately at the end of the episode it looks like Ludwig and Dolph have just been tasked with guarding the badguy posse’s cars while they hunt for the Grimm.

So. Much. Action. I see why they had to be ready.

So. Much. Action. I see why they had to be ready.

But in episode 100, Ludwig and Dolph get tricked into leaving their post by a Wesen friend of the Grimm, and they run off to help the priest, who they think is being attacked by said Grimm.

Don't fall for it, Ludwig! It's a trick!

Don’t fall for it, Ludwig! It’s a trick!

Upon catching up with the priest, they quickly realize they’ve been tricked!

Verify your sources, Ludwig!

Verify your sources, Ludwig!

Ludwig and Dolph are so pissed off that they were tricked that they transform into their true “Wettbewerbsgewinner” Wesen form, then set off to hunt the Grimm! I, of course, made an animated .GIF of that transformation:

Jamie Pederson transforms into a Wesen on NBC's Grimm.

From ginger to lizard thanks to CGI goodness!

Here’s a still of Ludwig in his Wettbewerbsgewinner form:

Wettbewerbsgewinner

Wettbewerbsgewinner!

Unfortunately when they get back to their vehicles they discover the Grimm has disabled them all and they are unable to pursue. Grimm & friend make it safely back to Portland without incident. :sadface:

There is actually a cool story behind the Wettbewerbsgewinner Wesen. “Wettbewerbsgewinner” is German for “Contest winner.” To commemorate the upcoming 100th episode of Grimm, NBC ran a contest where fans could design their own Wesen, and the chosen winner would appear on the 100th episode!

So, yes, Jamie transforms into a monster designed by a fan! That’s a pretty special thing. Here’s the original concept art that won the contest:

Contest Winner from the Grimm Wiki

As found HERE.

Will Ludwig & Dolph ever catch up with the Grimm and take back what was stolen? Or is that the last we see of them, helplessly looking at flat tires? I guess you should watch Grimm or something if you wanna find out; I have no idea.

I don't know.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that you should watch the two episodes featuring the Ginger Fool! You can watch ’em on the NBC webbed-site:
• Episode 99: “Key Move
• Episode 100: “Into the Schwarzwald

Partake and enjoy! And congrats, Jamie! Now we’ve seen you get eaten by cannibals and zombies and turn into a monster using CGI!

Jamie Pederson as Ludwig on NBC's Grimm

PROOF THAT IT HAPPENED!

And as if that weren’t enough a photo of the Ginger fool is on the cover of the Weekly Volcano. See, he’s not only on the TeleVision, he’s also on stage in “Death on the Supermarket Shelf,” a musical about the 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders.

Go, Jamie, Go! Get hugged from behind live on stage!

Go, Jamie, Go! Get hugged from behind live on stage!

“Death on the Supermarket Shelf” is running every Friday & Saturday this month at the Centerstage Theater in Federal Way. See it if you can!

Categories: Animated .GIFs, Concerts/Shows, Featured Posts, Fools Play, My Famous Friends, TV.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hello, EMP

Y’know, that great-big Experience Music Project museum thingy up in Seattle? Well, since I actually live in this state and am not a tourist, I’d never actually been there. Until last weekend! But the reason we went this time was not to see all the musics stuffs. It’s because they have a Hello Kitty exhibit, and both my daughter and my niece loooooove Hello Kitty.

It was pretty interesting!

I did not know she lived near London.

I did not know she lived near London.

The most important part of the Hello Kitty timeline.

The most important part of the Hello Kitty timeline.

Fun fact: the Smurfs are all 2 apples high. So Hello Kitty is 2.5 Smurfs high. I think we should all use "Smurf" as a measurement of height from now on.

Fun fact: the Smurfs are all 2 apples high. So Hello Kitty is 2.5 Smurfs high. I think we should all use “Smurf” as a measurement of height from now on.

We all live in a kitty submarine...

We all live in a kitty submarine…

All sorts of random crap with Hello Kitty's face on it. My favorite here is the Hello Kitty paper shredder, for all your adorable document destruction needs.

All sorts of random crap with Hello Kitty’s face on it. My favorite here is the Hello Kitty paper shredder, for all your adorable document destruction needs.

Nothing beats Hello Kitty motor oil, though. It makes your car's exhaust smell like cat breath.*

Nothing beats Hello Kitty motor oil, though. It makes your car’s exhaust smell like cat breath.*

Delicious?

Delicious?

"Papa, Hello Kitty has a snake on her head!"

“Papa, Hello Kitty has a snake on her head!”

This guy.

This guy.

My favorite part of EMP, though (to nobody’s surprise), was the Science Fiction Museum in the basement. It has some great artifacts.

O HALLO THERE HAVE YOU HEARD OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?

O HALLO THERE HAVE YOU HEARD OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?

Tiny war of the tiny worlds.

Tiny war of the tiny worlds.

"This is Ripley, the last survivor of the tiny Nostromo, signing off."

“This is Ripley, the last survivor of the tiny Nostromo, signing off.”

Leeloo Dallas multi-pass. MULTI-PASS.

Leeloo Dallas multi-pass. MULTI-PASS.

That pistol on the right was held by Sir Patrick Stewart. That needle tried to stab Agent Dale Cooper.*

That pistol on the right was held by Sir Patrick Stewart. That needle tried to stab Agent Dale Cooper.*

Darryl Hannah wore this Pris outfit on our first date.*

Darryl Hannah wore this Pris outfit on our first date.*

They also have fantasy and horror sections, which are inherently less interesting to me, but there were some cool stuffs:

Elderberries smell good.

Elderberries smell good.

As the world falls down...

As the world falls down…

They also had the mask of Hellboy’s personal Death from Hellboy II, but I neglected to take a poto of it.

They also had an Indie Game hall where you can play a bunch of new indie video games, and a Jimi Hendrix exhibit that had a bunch of his suitcases and passports and travel documents and stuffs like that.

EMP is an interesting place! But it’s pretty durned expensive to go there.

*This is a lie.

Categories: Featured Posts, Life, Pictures.